What to do with old plants

Hopefully you are busily harvesting loads of lovely veg right now, but there will come a time when you can’t pick any more runner beans or dig up any more spuds. So what then? What do you do with the old plant?

The simple answer, is pull it all up, rake it into a pile and whack it all on the compost heap (if you have one, if not, you’ll need to dispose of it another way). Try to do this all in one go rather than allowing the foliage to lie around on the soil for too long, otherwise it will start to rot and could spread disease.

The only exceptions to the rule of composting are those plants where you have, say, potato or tomato blight. You don’t really want to add those to the compost heap or you’ll only get a return of blight next year so it’s best to burn these plants instead.

If you’re planning to grow things over the autumn and winter, now is a good time to add a nice layer of compost ready for re-planting in a few weeks time. If not, it’s a good idea to cover the area with weed membrane or some old carpet to keep weeds down until you’re ready to plant some spring veg next year.

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